PGA Tour Priority Rankings

By Golf Channel NewsroomMarch 1, 2004, 5:00 pm
1. Winner of PGA Championship or U.S. Open prior to 1970 or in the last 10
calendar years. (Beginning in 1998, this is a five-year exemption.):
2. Winner of THE PLAYERS Championship in the last 10 calendar years.
(Beginning in 1998, this is a five-year exemption.):
3. Winners of the Masters Tournament in the last 10 calendar years.
(Beginning in 1998, this is a five-year exemption.):
4. Winners of the British Open in the last 10 calendar years. (Beginning in
1998, this is a five-year exemption.):
5. Winners of the World Series of Golf in the last 10 calendar years.
(Beginning in 1998, this is a three-year exemption.):
6. THE TOUR Championship winners of the last three years, beginning with
the 2001 winner:
7. Winners of World Golf Championship events. (Beginning in 2001, this is
a three-year exemption.):
8. The leader in PGA TOUR official earnings in each of the last five calendar
9. Winners of PGA TOUR cosponsored or approved events (except team
events) within the last two calendar years, or during the current year;
winners receive an additional year of exemption for each additional win,
up to five years:
10. A. Member of the last-named U.S. Presidents Cup Team.
B. Member of the last-named International Presidents Cup Team.
C. Member of the last-named U.S. Ryder Cup team.
D. Member of the last-named European Ryder Cup Team.
11. Leaders in official PGA TOUR career earnings, as follows:
A. Players among the top 50 in career earnings as of the end of the
preceding calendar year may elect to use a one-time, one-year
exemption for the next year.
B. Players among the Top 25 in career earnings as of the end of the
preceding calendar year may elect to use this special exemption for a
second year, provided that the player remains among the Top 25 on
the career money list:
12. Sponsor exemptions (a maximum of eight, which may include amateurs
with scratch handicaps or less), on the following basis:
A. Not less than two sponsor invitees shall be PGA TOUR members not
otherwise exempt.
B. Not less than two of the top 30 finishers and ties from the last
Qualifying Tournament, as well as 2-20 from the 2003 Nationwide
Tour money list, if not all of them can otherwise be accommodated.
(Note: PGA TOUR members may receive an unlimited number of
sponsor invitations. Non-TOUR members may receive a maximum of
seven per year).
13. Two international players designated by the Commissioner.
14. The current PGA Club Professional Champion for a maximum of three
open events, in addition to any sponsor selections.
15. PGA Section Champion or Player of the Year of the Section in which the
tournament is played.
16. Two members of the PGA Section in which the tournament is played,
who qualify through sectional qualifying competitions.
17. Four low scorers at Open Qualifying which shall normally be held on
Monday of tournament week.
18. Past champions of the particular event being contested that week, if cosponsored
by the PGA TOUR and the same tournament sponsor (except
for Team events), as follows:
A. Winners prior to July 28, 1970: unlimited exemptions for such events.
B. Winners after July 28, 1970 and prior to Jan. 1, 2000: 10 years of
exemptions for such events.
C. Winners after Jan. 1, 2000: five years of exemptions for such events.
19. Life Members (who have been active members of the PGA TOUR for 15
years and have won at least 20 co-sponsored events).
20. Top 125 on previous years Official Money List: If not exempt under
Special Exemptions, the top 125 PGA TOUR members on the previous
years Official Money List, in order of their position:
21. Players who finished in the Top 125 on 2003 PGA TOUR Money List as
22. Major Medical Extension: If granted by the Commissioner, if not otherwise
eligible, and if needed to fill the field, Special Medical Extension:
23. Leading Money Winners and any other three-time winners from the 2003
Nationwide Tour:
24. Top 10 and Ties among professionals from the previous open tournament
whose victory has official status are exempt into the next open
tournament whose victory has official status.
25. Top 30 and Ties from the previous years PGA TOUR Qualifying
Tournament, in order of their finish, and players 2-20 on the 2003
Nationwide Tour money list:
26. Players winning three Nationwide Tour events in the current year, in
priority determined by the date they win their third event.
27. Minor Medical Extension:
28. Next 25 members after the Top 125 members from previous years
Official Money List. If needed to fill the field, the next 25 PGA TOUR
members after the top 125 PGA TOUR members from the previous years
Official Money List, in order of their position on the list:
29. Non-Exempt, Major Medical Extension:
30. Past Champions, Team Tournament Winners and Veteran Members
Beyond 150 on Money List: If not otherwise eligible and as needed to fill
the field, Past Champion members, Team Tournament Winners and
Veteran members beyond 150th place on the previous years Money List,
in order of their combined official PGA TOUR and Nationwide Tour
earnings in the previous year.
31. Past Champion Members: If not otherwise eligible and if needed to fill
the field, Past Champion members, in order of the total number of cosponsored
or approved events won, excluding Team events. If two or
more players are tied, the player who is higher on the PGA TOUR Career
Money List shall be eligible.
32. Special Temporary: If during the course of a PGA TOUR season, a nonmember
of the PGA TOUR wins an amount of official money (e.g., by
playing in PGA TOUR events through sponsor exemptions, Open
Qualifying, etc.) equal to the amount won in the preceding year by the
150th finisher on the official money list, he will be eligible for the
remainder of the year.
33. Team Tournament Winners: If not otherwise eligible and if needed to fill
the field, winners of co-sponsored team championships, in order of the
total number of team championship tournaments won. If two or more
players are tied based on the number of such tournaments won, the
player who is higher on the official PGA TOUR Career Money List shall
be eligible.
34. Veteran Members: If not otherwise eligible and if needed to fill the field,
Veteran members (players who have made a minimum of 150 cuts during
their career), in order of their standing on the PGA TOUR Career Money List.

If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

You don’t believe it, though.

She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

“In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

“I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

“She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

“She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

“Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

“It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

“No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

“I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Tour finals.

“He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''